“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Milo & Jazz Mysteries: The Case of the Stinky Socks (Book 1) • Chapter book

The Milo & Jazz Mysteries: The Case of the Stinky Socks (Book 1)
by Lewis B. Montgomery • illustrated by Amy Wummer
Spring 2009 • The Kane Press
• Chapter book
Ages 7-11
Milo and Jazz team up to solve their very first mystery! The Wildcats’ star pitcher is missing his lucky socks, and his pitching is going to pieces. Can detective duo Milo and Jazz find the thief—before the big game?
Story: Milo and Jazz are real detectives—in training, that is! And they’re determined to find the star pitcher’s lucky socks and save the day. There’s just one problem. Who would steal a pair of stinky socks? Could it be the jealous team mascot? The conceited tennis champ? A player from the rival team? Milo and Jazz are on the case! With a little help from world-famous private eye Dash Marlowe, the two friends track down clues, stake out suspects, and become top-notch super sleuths.
Story behind the story: Written for kids ages 7–11, the Milo and Jazz Mysteries are "clever, entry-level mysteries ... true-page turners, zooming along at skateboard speed to solutions that are never obvious. And -- they're funny!" (Stephanie Spinner, author of Aliens for Breakfast). Readers will enjoy the ride as Milo and Jazz hone their detecting skills (like observing, thinking logically, and looking for patterns) and pick up new ones along the way. Super Sleuthing Puzzles (Spot the Clue, Hidden Picture, and more) at the end of each book add to the fun. And don’t miss Milo & Jazz’s second mystery: The Case of the Poisoned Pig.

Early praise for the Milo & Jazz Mysteries:
"The Milo & Jazz Mysteries are a perfect blend of humor and suspense. Realistic characters and kid-friendly mysteries will make this series a favorite among young readers. Very refreshing! -- Marcia Thornton Jones, author of the Adventures of the Bailey School Kids Series.

"The combination of humor and skillful detecting work well together. The stories move fast and make kids think and reason while having fun reading." -- Madeline Gilbert, librarian/teacher, Mamaroneck Avenue School, Mamaroneck, NY

FYI: all the review copies for this title are being sent (Kane Press is working to catch up with the requests which came in while they were moving!) and reviews are in the works; please check back and click on the "comments" link below to read what your colleagues have to say.


Lemon the Duck said...

What could be more appealing to kids than a case of missing "good luck" stinky socks?
This story had characters that children could relate to. There was humor and mystery as two "detectives" began their career, learning the give and take of partnership and collaboration.
The writing was easy to understand while keeping the reader engaged.
I would use this book for guided reading, for the end of first or second grade students, or for struggling third graders.
The back matter added to the reader's experience and connected to the curriculum.
I would rate this book a 4 out of 5for easy reading chapter books.

Laura Backman
Reading Specialist
Melville School

Title 1 teacher, South Jordan, UT said...

The kind of "garbage" that I can share with my students and laugh about. I am glad that Chip reminded Milo that he was still in the dumpster. I was afraid he would be forgotten. Thanks to Kane Press for a mystery children can follow the leads and solution. Great book for discussion. I will be looking for more Milo and Jazz books.

Majestic Elementary Title 1 First-Sixth
South Jordan, UT

Martine Battista said...

Although Milo and Jazz didn't knock my socks off, I did find them appealing. More importantly, my second and third graders will eat these mysteries up. They are geared towards those kids who are ready for chapter books, but are scared off of anything too long. My students prefer a series to a stand alone book (I'm quite the opposite) and this series is sure to delight them. I look forward to more. I give it a 4 since I know my patrons will be impressed.
Denair Elementary School
Denair, CA

Third Grade Self-Contained Enrichment Teacher said...

This was a great mystery for kids! I loved having a male and female character working together to solve the mystery. It was also great to have the bonus activities in the back to solve your own mystery and practice the detective skills. I did feel that this book would be more appropriate for younger kids (6-8). An 11 year old would probably be bored because it is very basic. I would give it a 4 out of 5.

ahslibrarian said...

“The Case of the Stinky Socks” is an aromatic mystery that will be enjoyed by young readers that discover the Milo & Jazz Mysteries series recently introduced by the Kane Press.

The enjoyment is sure to last beyond the life of the book because the readers are exposed to some rather interesting illustrations that capture the investigative process. These illustrations, coupled with the activities at the end of the book prepare kids to seek out and unravel the mysteries in their own world.

The mystery itself is not easy to decipher before the conclusion; wrong paths are explored and hypotheses are revised. The simple language makes this little mystery accessible to all but the earliest readers.

The book would make a nice gift or addition to a classroom library where exposure to different types of literature is essential. Boys, girls and teachers will love the investigative strategies that apply scientific method in a school-based story.

5 of 5

John Parker
Media Coordinator
Andrews High School
50 HS Drive
Andrews, NC 28901


Lisa Kennedy said...

Is it wrong for an adult to look forward to the next adventure of Milo and Jazz? What a wonderful early reader story! Friendship, mystery, and a happy ending all in eighty-seven pages, including wonderful illustrations. This is a story that will appeal to both boys and girls. The start of a series that I believe will reach the early reader in much the same way as Magic Tree House books with the slightly older audience of students. The entertaining “spy” practice activities at the end of the story are a nice addition. I highly recommend the first of what I hope will be a long series of Milo and Jazz mysteries. A full five!

Sandra Stiles said...

Once again I enjoyed a book that made my students think. The Milo and Jazz Mysteries: The Case of the Stinky Socks was a book that I found to be hilarious and beneficial. Students who are learning English as a second language often get watered down books that require no reasoning skills. The reading is easy enough for them and it makes me happy to hear them discussing the book as they read it together. They were making predicitions about who stole the socks and discussing the reasons they believed it was a certain character. I definately give this book a 4.5

jackie purificato said...

I thought that this was a really nice book for the early readers. It had enough intrige to have them involved and wanting to read the next book in the series. I really liked the activities at the end of the book. Not only do the students get the opportunity to read a mystery, but also to become a detective.
I would give this a 5 in my picnic basket.

Monica said...

Milo and Jazz, The Case Of The Stinky Socks, kept my interest while giving me a few chuckles. It was fun to read about a boy-girl detective duo that had to work out a few issues to realize how well they could work together to solve a mystery. Together the two of them look for and investigate clues to lead them to the person that stole Dylan's (the baseball teams pitcher) lucky socks. For those young readers interested in mysteries this would be a good place to begin. I would rate this book a 4.

wordwarrior said...

The Milo and Jazz Mysteries: The Case of the Stinky Socks is a well written early reader chapter book. The story holds the readers attention and aids in many reading concepts that will enhance the early chapter book reader's ability. Problem solving, making predictions about what may happen next paired with vocabulary that is not too difficult but has some challenging words sprinkled throughout the story. I began reading the story to analyze it for my review, but found myself caught up in the story and pleasantly surprised at the resolution to the mystery. I would enjoy reading this book with my readers and look forword to more Milo and Jazz Mysteries!

Laura Miller
BHS Paraprofessional Interelated

SSR-Reading Teacher said...

Reading Teacher said...
This was just the kind of early chapter book I look for to read with my struggling early primer readers and third and fourth grade guided reading resource groups. It follows the theme of a boy and girl detective duos as in the Jigsaw Jones series, Cam Jansen and Nate the Great. This one has one plus that at the end it has 5 pages of activities for kids to try. It is just the right length with short easy chapters.
I would give it a 4 out of 5 rating.

SSR Title 1 Reading Teacher
Majestic Elementary
West Jordan, Utah

Susan Appleton said...

What a cute little mystery for my lower-level reading students. I teach 5th grade but several of my students are on a 2nd and 3rd grade reading level, and they love mysteries! I can't wait to put this one on the shelf and see their reactions! I love the fact that the two detectives are a boy and a girl who have to learn to work together to solve the mystery. I think they discover that each has strengths that lend itself to a successful partnership. It was a simple read, but humorous and interesting enough to keep students' attention! I can't wait to see the other editions in this collection. Good job! I would give it a 4 out of 5 in the rankings.

jwelch said...

The idea for this book is great. The dialogue and characters are realistic. I think that this book could be a catalyst for exploratory learning at school or at home. Milo and Jazz use common sense methods to solve their mystery, methods that any child can use to solve mysteries around them.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Pamela Kramer said...

I greatly enjoyed this mystery and am reading it to my second language learners. I think that it is more appropriate for younger readers--maybe good second graders and third graders. Older readers might find this too easy. But the idea of a boy and girl working together to solve the problems works. The way that they are methodical in their investigation is a great model for young readers and best of all, the story is enjoyable. Once a student starts the book, he or she will want to know how it ends. That's a great way to encourage good readers. I give this book a 5. It's a keeper!

Pamela Kramer
Reading Teacher
Oak Terrace Elementary School
Highwood, Illinois

Anonymous said...

"Milo & Jazz Mysteries: The Case of the Stinky Socks"
Students were drawn in by title alone. They saw the number 1 on the front cover and were interested in the series before I even shared it with them. This story has fun characters who are likeable and realistic. Students were attracted to the duo and want more soon. This type of book allows readers to dive into it without discouraging them with length and too easy of read. I rate this book a 4+.

Tracy Abbott said...

"The Case of the Stinky Socks" knocked my students' socks off! I read this story aloud to one of my second grade inclusion classes. Each time we stopped, they begged me to continue! They just couldn't wait till we got to the end to see who the guilty party was. I really liked the added materials in the back that challenges the students to use their higher order thinking skills. Thanks for such a great read!

Nan Demmler said...

Milo and Jazz were believable characters that are appealing to kids. I really liked the way that Milo initially didn't want the help of a girl, but came to see that she could contribute to team detective agency. I especially liked the idea that they were looking for lucky stinky socks and I loved the scene in the dumpster. I would rate this book a 4 and look forward to more adventures from Milo and Jazz.
Nan Demmler
Elementary Librarian
Bellevue, WA

Kristin said...

I chose to read this book aloud to my kindergarten son. We read one chapter a night and he was quickly caught up in the story. By the end he was trying to guess who might have stolen the stinky socks. I asked him what he thought of the book when we were done. He replied, "It was good!" I'm anxious for more titles in this series. It is a great way to introduce the mystery genre in the lower grades. I would give this book a 4.

Kristin Gehrke
4th grade teacher
Eldora-New Providence Elem.
Eldora, IA

The Black Family said...

This was a great easy reader that would be appealing to 2nd and 3rd grade students who may be struggling. As a Title I teacher, I would love to see some of my students read chapter books like this that include humor, a decent plot, and important Tier 1 and 2 words.

It is also extremely easy to follow, which is why I would love it for my ESL students as well.

I give this a 5 out of 5 as far as an easy reader goes. I am excited for the rest of the series and plan on adding it to my library!

Lindsey B.
Title I teacher, Utah

Terry Doherty, The Reading Tub said...

Milo has big dreams of being a detective. So you can just imagine how excited he was to finally get his Dash Marlowe detective kit. Milo quickly discovers that there's more to sleuthing than gadgets. He fails the "power of observation" test when his next-door neighbor Jazmyne (everyone calls her Jazz) covers his eyes and asks him to remember something. Jazz wants to be his partner ... and while Milo is mulling it over, Jazz' brother Dylan hands them their first case: his lucky baseball socks are missing. Without those socks, he can't pitch. And if he can't pitch, the Wildcats can't win the championship. How hard can it be to find a pair of stinky socks? This is a mystery series for transitional readers (first and second grade)

Lots of action, a little humor, and some teamwork make this an excellent set of mysteries for emergent readers. It is perfect as a read-aloud or for independent reading.

This is a fast-paced, well-written book. It reminded me of Encyclopedia Brown without the "you solve it" piece at the end. The illustrations add to the story without giving away but don't give you any clues. Given that the audience is young readers, the inset "notebooks" are an excellent tool to aid comprehension and remind readers of what we know "so far." Our daughter loved this book and would ask for an extra chapter each night. We took those opportunities to let her read on for herself. She was initially attracted by the title and immediately thumbed through to see if she could figure out the mystery from the pictures.

This book is must-have for your summer picnic basket. Wherever you're trying to enjoy (or sneak in) some reading, you're bound to hear "can I have some more?" We strongly recommend this book.

Terry Doherty
Executive Director, The Reading Tub, Inc

peaceful reader said...

We loved this chapter book. I tested it out on my 6 year-old daughter for a story time read and we both liked the characters of Milo and Jazz. We liked the mystery of special "stinky socks" and hope to read the next titles listed. I will definitely order this series for my students at school because it was a good read and didn't involve flying fairy horses or gems.